“…what has held the American people together, in the absence of a common ethnic origin has been precisely a common adherence to ideals of democracy and human rights…” (pg. 124), says Schlesinger, in his award-winning book: The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society.
Along with the devotion to democracy and human rights, the richness and texture of the American society which comprises many different backgrounds, customs, virtues, rituals, holidays, and cuisines is something to be proud of (pg. 123). We simply welcome each and every tradition, and this openness to diversity is something invaluable that strengthens our unique American identity.
Historically, much has been written on the infamous ‘American melting pot’. All and all, I could never imagine writing on this topic too, let alone its ‘connection’ with Gulen charter schools – a recently invented concept flourishing on the Internet. Allow me briefly explain how our giant ‘salad bowl’ relates to this purported Gulen charter schools notion:
In such a country where last names do not matter at all, I’m having hard time to understand individuals that are blatantly attacking to Magnolia Public Schools just because of the minor presence of the international staff. Do they think that they could defame our nationally recognized public charter schools by labeling them as Gulen charter schools? I don’t know what they aim, but I know one thing for sure: This is not an American mindset that wholeheartedly welcomes differences and celebrates diversity.
I’ve heard from the grapevine that there are quite a few rumors on who this tiny bunch of people indeed might be. Some suggest that these people belong to a small extremist portion of Armenian Diaspora; some believe they are ultra-nationalist and/or pro-communist Turks both in and out Turkey where it is a popular trend to blame Gulen for almost anything going on.
Digging a little deeper to understand what really is going on, one may find out that these bloggers eye everything related to Magnolia with profound suspicion – to the extent of discrimination. Bloggers see almost everyone who might allegedly have heard of Gulen as a potential threat as well. It is interesting how they at this point are in parallel with some groups in Turkey, who speak in defense of a clandestine organization known as Ergenekon. Their negative and one-sided stories portray a treacherous image of people running charter schools as if they had some sort of hidden agenda.
Actually, it is possible to test the credibility of their comments by exploring where they were published, the authors’ competence (if any), the interest groups they are connected to, the agendas of those groups, etc. Such inquiries might offer a healthier assessment of these allegations. As funny as it could be, these fictitious Gulen charter schools claims happen to appear almost everywhere off-topic. No surprise if one comes across to pieces of texts on Gulen charter schools on various platforms: from Craigslist ads to online technology forums, from ‘article farms’ to hardware instruction manuals, etc. I even remember seeing a posting about Gulen charter schools under one of the Bollywood film reviews!
But why is all this spamming effort going on? This ideological agenda aims to push some fear and curiosity into academic and educational circles but, naturally, it is not seen as an objective and reliable source. Long story short, these blogs are bogus. They usually choose to quote other blogs which rely on other similar blogs that relate to other blogs that also lack a single trace of evidence as a resource. On Twitter, for example, the very same folks both attack to current Turkish government in Turkish and the so-called Gulen charter schools in English at the same time, and the arguments they present give the impression that they receive the help of sources of disinformation in Turkey. At various instances, allegations highly contradict depending on the audience, although they stem from the same origin.
Anyways, the essence of all this is that it is necessary to avoid exaggerating everything written on the cyberspace. There is really nothing to be taken seriously about these blogs/bloggers and the like in their labeling of Gulen charter schools. No matter what they keep posting around, Magnolia Public Schools keep increasing their API scores via closely overseen academic/non-academic activities, determined to bring the better to our school communities.
- A response to “Gulen Charter Schools” claims (parents4magnolia.org)
- These are not Gulen charter schools, these are OUR charter schools (parents4magnolia.org)
- Gulen charter schools argument looks like an allegation (parents4magnolia.org)